Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wimmera and Mallee, Victoria. Part 1

Following our stopover in Warracknabeal we decided at the last minute to complete a round trip tour of many of the small Wimmera and Mallee towns that are off the main roads. After refuelling the car and restocking the caravan we didn't leave Warracknabeal till late heading in the direction of Dimboola. We noticed in Dimboola that there is significant building of new homes and units. This must be heartening for the locals, to have people moving into the town. After a walk around the town and a few conversations with some locals who had just as much time on their hands as we have, we continued westwards to our camp site for the night. This was only about 6 km out of Dimboola at a large roadside Rest Area.

The following morning we continued our tour, shortly arriving at Nhill. Nhill seems to be a thriving town, fairing better than most in the region and boasts a large Medical/Hospital Complex. Straddling The Western Highway is probably of some benefit to the town with the volume of passing traffic. Following our morning tea break and a walk around the town we then navigated towards Jeparit. The scenery was the same all along the roadsides, broad acre paddocks covered with crop stubble. This was interrupted occasionally with some paddocks that had been tilled in readiness for the new seasons sowing. Jeparit, sadly, looks very much like a dying town with closed shop fronts galore. Jeparit is of course known as the birth place of Robert Gordon Menzies, twice Prime Minister of Australia. The town has, what looks to be a, reasonably new Hospital. This Hospital really looks out of place in the run down town.

The large Dimboola Hotel was destroyed by fire about 10 years ago, the local council is, apparently, fighting the owner in the courts to have the building demolished.

This is the reasonably busy Main Street of Dimboola.

This was once the Star Picture Theatre in Dimboola.

Rest Rooms and Information Centre in Dimboola.

Ultra wide Main Street in Nhill gives the town an open look.

More of the Main Street which is also the Western Highway.

Well kept parks and this Bandstand add appeal to the town.

The Post Office is a classic old design.

It is easy to see where the Rate Payers money is going in this Council. Very elaborate Council Offices for the employees here!

This is the never ending landscape in the Wimmera and Mallee. Crop stubble.

Lunch beside the Wimmera River weir at Jeparit.

Robert Gordon Menzies memorial plaque in it's own commemorative garden in the centre of town.

This Spire denotes the birth place of R G Menzies. He was born in his parents store that was situated on this street corner.

One of the few significant buildings in Jeparit.

The CFA (Country Fire Authority) Station and the grain silos beside the rail line.

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